Attention Minneapolis Audiophiles

I am in the process of a 30-day in home audition of a deHavilland mercury 2 tubed linestage, which is a new product showing amazing promise. Here's a link to the item.

Problem is I dont have another preamp (preferrable a tubed linestage) to compare it to. Making matters worse, I dont even have speakers at the moment - having just sold me Sonus Faber Guarneri Homage's (though i am expecting a set of Verity Audio Parsifal Encores next week).

If you are game, I would love to meet up for a little preamp head-to-head. I'd be happy to go to your place with the Merc 2 for a run, if anyone is interested.....
I would be interested, I live near Nokomis. E-mail me and we can discuss. My speaks are Vienna Acoustic Beethoven Grands. Current pre-amp is BAT VK-31SE.
Update: Thanks for the offer Jeff. I am meeting up with Jafox tonight. He has a BAT 31SE AND an Aesthtix Callisto Signature. We'll spin vinyl on his system and compre the three.

I also have tentative plans to hook up with Bob (USblues) to drop the Merc it into his counterpoint-Merlin system.

Update to follow.
Now I feel like the kid that didn't get picked.

Just kidding, jafox has a sweet system.
Art, too bad you no longer have your First Sound. You could have pitted it directly against the Mercury. Won't you now always be left with a trace of a nagging doubt?


I have a Plasma pre-amp by NAT Audio that I am not using at the moment. (You can find more information at I am going to be in Minneapolis tomorrow afternoon. If you would like to borrow it, please send me e-mail.

If you would like to drive to Willmar to listen the pre-amp in my system, please let me know. I can always find time for that.

My system is under Analog. Pro Ac Response 2 is gone.
I have Response 3.8 now.

Best regards,

Rade - Thank you so much for the wonderful offer. Right now I dont have speakers yet, so another preamp would not do me much good. Thanks once again!
Art, we have corresponded earlier. I am about to ship out my Merlins for a new pair of MXs that will be here ???? If you are interested once your Parsifals arrive I would be happy to bring over my Audio Note M5 for a comparison on your system.

Round 1 goes (rather handily) to either or both the BAT 31SE and Aesthetix. To be fair, the deHavilland is brand spanking new and has not seen more than 20 mins of play time (though it was powered up for maybe 1-2 days). In jafox's system (CAT signature monos, clear audio analog source, Sound Lab spkrs) it was no contest.

Rather than make any serious sweeping conclusions, more listening is needed, esp once this thing has been played more. That's only fair. more to come.

Once I get the parsifals next week, i would love to have Peter and anyone else over....
Rade (lateguestnomore) I understand you were only trying to help me out - I hope you didnt think i was appreciative of your offer, becuase I certainly was/am. I just dont have speakers at the moment, like i said in my prior note.....
I am thinking of purchasing these and wanted to know your thoughts after you have had additional time to listen to it. I notice there are a lot of UltraVerves for sale at low prices which concerns me given the good reviews it received.
We've got speakers, amps, everything you need. When you are ready to make your comparison, let me know. If you want to hear what the BAT and Aesthetix stuff does beside the MP-3, I am game for that too.
Thanks again for the offers. I ended up purchasing a CAT SL-1 Ultimate for the system, so the search (for now) is over.
There is a potential local opportunity.

I have no affiliation with the owner, just happened to stumble on this...
I had no idea there were so many goners in the area. You certainly don't see them at the audio society meetings.

Shadorne- you're in White Bear?
Hi Atmasphere,

I'm in Deephaven and have discovered two very nice systems within a mile of me. This bring four in Deephaven alone!

One friend of mine and I (actually their was a third from Minnetonka) have gone to the Audio Society meeting many times a few years back. I have never felt less welcome. It seemed like a click of long time acquaintances. I am not overly outgoing in that situation, so it compounds the issue.

None the less I have met quite a few local friends through Audiogon. Funny I needed to go to an International site to find local friends.

You of course are well known, but I do not believe we ever met. So Hi!

Hi jd, I know at least one guy in Deephaven, but I don't think he's on audiogon. I wonder if a meetup for the local 'goners is worthwhile? Have you been over to other's places to hear their systems?
I have heard Jafox (Plymouth, Molly (Deephaven) and the guy I know you know who is not on Audiogon. I also have a Deephaven friend who has a nice system, but he is controlled (not like me) in his audioholic symptoms but does not use Audiogon. I guess he went to treatment. I would think it fun to have a western suburb meeting. I am introducing Molly and the guy you know next week, let me ask Molly if he would host our first meeting, he has an all MBL system which is very nice.

I'll email you next week. If other A'goners are local write too.
hi, all mpls guys, its nice to hear from audio people who live close, its a small ,small world, i have known the unmentioned man in deephaven with the mbl system for years, and consider him a freind. i think he is ditching his mbl pre amp for a atmaspere pre amp, a move in the right direction if you ask me. happy listening, chrissain
Wow what a chance to hang out with Ralph,hear his products and maybe sip some fine single malt scotch;Artg I would jump on that offer from Atmasphere in a second if I were you.